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Page added on December 30, 2007

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The climate threat to Japanese rice

In Japan government scientists are trying to find ways to reduce the impact of global warming on the country’s rice crop.

There are fears that the extremes of temperature that some researchers are predicting could affect both the yield and the quality of rice, a staple of the Japanese diet.
Flowering grain crops like maize, wheat and rice are particularly vulnerable to changes in temperature.

Rice is believed to have been cultivated in Japan for more than 2,500 years.

Although people are eating less than they used to, on average each person here still eats more than a kilogramme a week.

Japan is getting warmer. In the last decade or so the country’s annual average temperature has been between 0.2 and one degree higher than the average recorded in the last 30 years of the 20th Century.

Research being carried out by Japanese government scientists suggests that if this trend continues, rice yields and quality could suffer.


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